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The Marine Corps has reinvented itself throughout its history. The new Commandant is doing it again.

Editor’s Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Marines haven’t exactly shaken their reputation as crayon-eating meatheads in recent years. Just look to the many scandals over cultural issues like misogynistic Facebook pages and Marines United.

But the Corps recently got a new Commandant, Gen. David Berger. Berger has jumped into the fire with both feet. Only a few days on the job, he has put out a series of initiatives in his Commandant’s Planning Guidance (CPG) that point to a period of great change for the Corps.

Through its 243 years, the Corps has had to reinvent itself countless times.


Just in the last century, the Corps went from a shipboard security force to a truly expeditionary force in World War I to inventing modern amphibious doctrine in World War II to pioneering the helicopter borne assault in Korea to counterinsurgency in Vietnam to the modern Marine Expeditionary Units on standby around the world today.

Berger has rightly decided that the way the Marines’ plans for amphibious assaults isn’t going to work going forward, as a “Sands of Iwo Jima” redux will end with thousands of dead Marines and Sailors at the bottom of the ocean.

The dirty secret behind amphibious assaults is that the development of Anti-access/Area Denial, or A2AD, capabilities by many possible adversaries has made it a lot harder to sneak up and attack from the sea. Berger’s planning guidance states that he wants to get away from the “exquisite and the few” in favor of the “affordable and plentiful” when it comes to amphibious shipping. He’s explicitly looking beyond the cut and paste of battalion plus squadron plus three gators equal MEU.

The three-ship …read more

Read more here:: Task & Purpose

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